PHL Embassy in Kuala Lumpur denies issuing hajj passports
The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Monday said it does not accept nor process applications for hajj passports.
The embassy issued the statement following reports saying a number of Malaysians and Indonesians used the passports allegedly issued either by the Philippine Consulate in Malaysia and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
In the statement, the embassy said it only accepts and processes applications for regular passports with a five-year validity. A hajj passport is only valid for one year which can be used only to participate in the pilgrimage.
It added there is no Philippine consulate in Malaysia aside from the embassy's consular section.
“We wish to assure the public that the Embassy exercises due diligence when processing passport applications, which includes requiring proper documentation and undertaking personal appearance and interview in order to ascertain the identity of the applicant and the veracity of his supporting documents,” the embassy said.
The embassy said syndicates operating in the Philippines and Indonesia may have victimized Indonesian nationals in Malaysia who wish to participate in the hajj.
Up to 2.5 million Indonesian nationals reside in Malaysia and Malaysian citizens of Indonesian heritage.
The embassy said it will closely coordinate with the DFA Office of Consular Affairs, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and other concerned law enforcement agencies in investigating and prosecuting the syndicates behind the fake passports.